TSA Score Conversion

Advice & Insight From TSA Specialists

Marks achieved on the TSA for section 1 and 2 are converted into scaled scores using the Rasch technique. This is a special statistical technique which factors in the question and overall test difficulty. As a result, candidates’ scores can be compared directly, even if they have taken different versions of the test and this is why universities like Oxford and Cambridge like using the TSA because it gives extra information about a candidate’s potential for being successful in their university studies.

What do scaled scores look like?

After sitting the test, you will receive a scaled score for each component of section 1, a composite score for section 1 as well as a scaled score for section 2 (for those of you taking section 2):

Problem solving scaled score


Critical thinking scaled score


Composite scaled score


Writing task scaled score


How are raw scores converted into scaled scores?

The TSA scale usually runs from about 0 – 100 (although this varies from year to year) with scores always given to one decimal place. There is no definitive way of converting a raw score into a scaled score until after the whole cohort has taken the test, but it is possible to look at results from previous years to see what sort of correlations are made. This is because in section 1 of the TSA, each question is weighted differently depending on its level of difficulty. So, for example, if a particular question ends up being answered correctly by fewer candidates overall, it will be given more weighting than a question answered correctly by nearly all candidates.

To give a rough idea, based on recent analysis of historical data and estimations, the following table gives an indication of how some of the total raw scores achieved on section 1 of the TSA have corresponded to scaled scores in a recent testing year:

Raw score







Scaled score







Competitive scores vary from year to year, but, typically, a scaled score of 65 or more is considered competitive. The scale is designed so that typical applicants to the most highly selective courses will score around 60. The best applicants will score more highly, with 70 representing a comparatively high score. Only a very few exceptional applicants will achieve scores higher than 80; extreme scores are rare.

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